Two Hamburg Township firefighters have been promoted, after several years of hard work, training, and overcoming obstacles.

Carlie Morris and Tom Pawley were recognized Tuesday at a meeting of the township’s Board of Trustees. Morris and Pawley were presented with their badges; standing before their families, township officials, and fellow members of the Hamburg Township Fire Department. Fire Chief Nick Miller says it’s “always a joyous day” when the department is able to present their firefighters with their badges. The badges acknowledge the firefighters as fully-functioning members of the department, having completed anywhere between 800 and 900 hours of training in areas including firefighting, EMT, hazmat, and pump engineering over the course of approximately a two-year period.

Carlie Morris joined the department in February of 2017 after aging out of the Livingston County Sheriff’s Explorer Program. She tells WHMI she’s looking forward to continuing her career in Hamburg adding, “After you complete all that training, they take your leash and then clip you and say, ‘you know everything we can teach you…go and make a difference’. So it takes a lot of hard work and being a girl who does it is kind of awesome too…they’ve had females before but just being a female myself in such a male-dominated field is amazing.”

Tom Pawley has been with the department since October of 2015. He made it through the fire academy but was injured just before graduating. Once recovered, Pawley had to go through the academy again, making Tuesday’s badge presentation especially moving for him after a challenging journey. Pawley says, “My first year on the department I was injured. I got hit in the eye with a water stream. Almost lost my eye…had to have multiple surgeries. So this is an extremely huge deal for me.”

Chief Miller says Morris and Pawley are both great assets to the department, noting that both their energy and personalities make them a great fit. (DK)